The finish into Parma is on the long straight main road, with only a few roundabouts to navigate in the run-in. However it is a technical finish, where a lead out will be important, because of a sharp right turn exactly a kilometre from the finish and then another dog-leg turn right turn with 600 metres to go. Position will be vital, as will a strong, sustained burst of speed for the finishing straight.
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) showed his form at the recent Presidential Tour of Turkey and is likely to be Cavendish’s biggest threat. Other Italians to watch for include Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), Manuel Belletti and Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF), Davide Appollonio (Team Sky) and Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil).
Petacchi is 24 seconds behind Cavendish in the overall classification and so in theory out of reach of the pink jersey. However Robbie McEwen is just ten seconds down and so in with a real chance of taking pink, after RadioShack finished second in the team time trial.